Ecosystem Recovery through Marine Recovery Zones and Artificial Reefs in La Bocana, Baja California Sur


Marine Reserves

OBJECTIVE: To expand abalone, lobster and finfish populations through artificial reef placement in the fishery zone granted through a concession to the cooperative.

In 2011, representatives of El Progreso Cooperative (located in La Bocana, Baja California Sur) attended a workshop held in Ensenada, where COBI gave a presentation about marine recovery zone projects in the peninsula of Baja California.

In 2014, the Cooperative proposed an idea to COBI: mixing artificial reefs with marine recovery zones to increase the populations of green and pink abalone, lobster and finfish. The fishing concession area of the Cooperative is small, and there are few rocky areas. Hence, the installation of artificial reefs could be an excellent alternative.

In 2016, COBI, Stanford University, the University of California, and a group of fishers from the Cooperative began designing artificial reefs based on existing prototypes from California and Australia. Eight divers from the cooperative were certified in diving techniques with SCUBA equipment to carry out dives with COBI in order to identify the areas where artificial reefs would be placed. The impact on repopulation of the innovative artificial reefs will be monitored on a yearly basis with the team of community divers.

Additionally, oceanographic sensors were installed to monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity with the support of researchers from Stanford. These sensors belong to a larger network of sensors placed throughout the Pacific coast of Baja California. Data provided by this network of sensors has permitted the detection of regional climate phenomena like hypoxia episodes (low oxygen events at sea) which greatly affect sessile organisms.

  • 8 certified community divers
  • 3 sites identified for artificial reefs
  • 5 oceanographic sensors installed to monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity
  • Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
  • Hopkins Marine Station
  • Sociedad Cooperativa de Producción Pesquera Progreso
  • University of Georgia

Arturo Jesús Hernández Velasco

This project is constantly evolving, and your support is key to making an impact on marine conservation and sustainable fishery. The following list details our current project needs. You can also donate directly to COBI by contacting our donations team: Let’s all do our part!

  • Media interested in reporting on the artificial reef project and marine reserves in La Bocana
  • Donations and funding for submarine monitoring and maintenance of the oceanographic sensor network
  • Volunteers with relevant knowledge, skills, or experience
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